Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance,
Stockholm School of Economics

No 102: Optimal deterrence and inducement of takeovers: An analysis of poison pills and dilution

Johan Molin
Additional contact information
Johan Molin: Department of Finance, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, Box 6501, S-113 83 STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

Abstract: The paper presents a theoretical alternative to the commonly held belief that poison pills affect shareholder wealth negatively. Specifically, the paper models how ex ante shareholder wealth can be maximized with contractual provisions that resemble poison pill plans and, reversely, voluntary dilution à la Grossman and Hart (1980) by allowing an optimal choice of takeover probabilities and premia. The model's predicitions are consistent with recent empirical evidence [Comment and Schwert (1995)]. The paper shows that, under optimal employment of the proposed provisionsa, the comparative statics on takeover probabilities and premia differ partially from those proposed in Shleifer and Vishny (1986). As an extension, an analysis of the wealth effects of changes in the control threshold, as implied by, e.g., supermajority rules and a mandatory bid rule, is conducted.

Keywords: Takeover defense; poison pills; dilution

JEL-codes: G34

34 + vii pages, February 1996

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